From Victor Davis Hanson’s essay last week, A Big Picture Look at dysfunctional California’s collective escape into fantasyland:
I have a hard time timing car trips to Los Angeles because a large section of the 99 state “freeway,” north of Kingsburg, is still (after a half-century) two lanes, potholed, and crammed with traffic. But the rub is that the traffic is of a strange sort, one characterized by an inordinate number of drivers with loose brush, tools, appliances — almost anything — not secured in flat-bed pickups or piled too high in pickups and trailers. The debris commonly flies out on the road, causes an accident, and shuts down California’s main interior north-south lateral for several hours.
What is the common theme here?
When the liberal mind cannot cope with the concrete ramifications of its own ideology, it seeks a sort of tokenism. Unable to ensure that trees are not defaced? An ancient highway is not upgraded? Presto, zoom ahead to space-age high-speed rail, as if the conditions that created sprayed trees and mattresses lying among the pot-holes will not easily migrate to high-speed rail. That is, within 10 years I have no doubt that the Fresno-Corcoran (“rail to nowhere”) link will be periodically closed due to stripped copper wire conduit, mattresses thrown over the fence onto the tracks, and the general inability of the state to service the system due to the sort of daily vandalism seen at our local campgrounds.
If one third of the nation’s welfare population resides in California, and if seven million of the last ten million Californians added to the state population are now on Medicaid, and if Californians, as it is estimated, send approximately $10 billion a year in remittances to Mexico and Latin America, then something has to give. And the remedy for that something that gives is either teaching youth not to spray paint pine trees, or hiring unemployed ex-gang-bangers to pressure wash the graffiti off pine trees — or moving to a kinder, gentler Santa Cruz or Newport, feeling good on the beach, watching the sunset each evening, and cursing those evil conservatives who want to poison the 3-inch delta smelt and keep foie gras legal in California.
In a much smaller form, this same escape into fantasy is being played out in Charlotte this week, as a comparison of these two anecdotes posted today highlight:
I can’t speak for the delegates or ther foreign dignitaries, but many of the journalists I have spoken with here are appalled at the accommodations in Charlotte to which they were assigned by the DNC. National Review was assigned to two Knights Inn properties. Everyone who saw them fled immediately across state lines to an available Marriott in South Carolina rather than stay there. As one of our political correspondents reported:
The Knights Inn was the worst hotel I have ever seen, and I’ve stayed in many bad motels in my life. Two guys were dealing drugs in the room next to me, and a prostitute was working out of the parking lot. And this was in the early afternoon. The room itself was dirty, full of other people’s stuff, etc.
I have never requested a hotel change in 3 years at NR. This was the first time I felt absolutely compelled.
It’s not as if the DNC couldn’t have figured out something was wrong with the properties. TripAdvisor had these recent comments on one of the Knights Inn properties: “wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy,” “scared to death,” and “pimps and prostitutes at night.”
Nor was National Review singled out. Staff members from Politico and the Hill abandoned their assigned hotels, too. Staffers from the Hill found refuge in a cheap Microtel and considered it a comparative oasis.
Tucker Carlson, editor of The Daily Caller, told me that the Quality Inn his staff was assigned to was “the worst hotel you can imagine.” TripAdvisor carried these recent reviews: “barely a Bates Motel,” “scary area and parking lot,” and “the worst.”
— John Fund of NRO on “The Crack Hotels of the DNC.”
At many garbage stations there are “environmental consultants” to help people choose the right bin, or, if need be, reach in and move the garbage to the right one. For example, one of the consultants repeatedly stopped kitchen help at the trash cans to advise which cans to use: cardboard in “Recycle,” food in “Compost,” styrofoam cups in “Landfill.”
One reporter said that a consultant scolded her for not paying attention and using the wrong bins. Another said that one of the consultants — who were barred from talking to the media — pulled his plastic cup out of “Recycle” to place in the “Compost” bin, explaining that the cup was biodegradable. “How am I supposed to know that? It’s plastic,” he said.
In fact not all of the plastic cups used at the convention are biodegradable, prompting some of the consultants to look for the biodegradable stamp before choosing the right bin.
But for a party that prides itself for being green, garbage is a big deal. (The GOP convention did not have garbage police.) One of the environmental consultants said that she protects her compost bin “with my life.”
— “Reporters scolded by Democratic garbage police,” in the Washington Examiner’s DC Secrets column.
Update: “Chris Matthews: ‘All That Came Before’ in American History ‘Led to’ Obama.” Clearly, Chris’s Whig is screwed on way too tightly.
Meanwhile, at Wizbang, “The Reality Based Community Is Officially Dead.”
#HowToPissOffADemocrat Say “Dude: until further notice, everything said by the Left is assumed false until proven true.”
— Chris Smith (@smitty_one_each) September 3, 2012